The Trailer Report – 6/6/14

Hello, all you movie watchers out there! Welcome to The Trailer Report, where we’ll break down all of the week’s biggest movie and TV trailers, and try our best to answer the ultimate question for all trailers: Does it look good?

This week we’ve got dystopian teenagers, government conspiracies, vigilante cops, and Greek demigods.

Let’s get started:



The Giver

In a seemingly perfect community without war, pain, or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the “real” world.

Does it look good? A strong possibility. I’m always down for a good dystopian future (or in this case, faux-utopian future, I suppose), and I really dig the mechanic of a black and white world slowly coming into color as our hero begins to understand it (even if it gives strong flashbacks to Pleasantville). On the flip side, I get the nagging feeling that this is edging farther toward young adult than it is toward science fiction. It’s tone reminds me most of the recent Divergent, which wasn’t good but also not a terrible movie in and of itself, and I would to for it to shoehorn in YA plot devices in where they don’t belong.



The legendary Greek demigod has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.

Does it look good? God help me, it does. I absolutely loathe Brett Ratner, as a director and a human being, so it pains me to say that I’m looking forward to any of his movies, and let’s be clear that Hercules does not look like a “good” movie in any sort of quality sense. But it looks fun; like a goofy throwback to the old fantasy films of the 80’s, with a plucky group of adventurers led by a superhuman. So, Conan, specifically. That and seeing Rufus Sewell playing anything other than a bad guy has got me a little excited.


Kill The Messenger

A reporter becomes a target as he attempts to expose the CIA’s role in arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua and importing cocaine into California.

Does it look good? Definitely. This has the look of a movie that I will love; a solid dramatic cast, a tense, gripping story, and a fair amount of political intrigue. The director, Michael Cuesta, has a solid history directing television, most recently Homeland, which is a great sign as that is some of the most tense, intriguing television around right now. This also looks like a return to form for Jeremy Renner, who followed his great dramatic breakout roles in The Hurt Locker and The Town with a series of action movies and roles that didn’t really demand much of him in the way of drama, which this one certainly seems to.


A Walk Among The Tombstones

Private investigator Matthew Scudder is hired by a drug kingpin to find out who kidnapped and murdered his wife.

Does it look good? It does. Liam Neeson is continuing his string of senior citizen action films (he’s 61), and this one looks a bit dirtier than the previous. It feels a bit like Taken versus serial killers (much like Non-Stop felt like Taken on a plane), which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as I think the combo really would make for a good movie. It feels a bit skewed towards serial killer movie over action movie, but that’s also fine, as it looks to be taking Neeson to a darker, grittier place than he’s been in these types of movies before.


What If

A medical school dropout meets an animator living with her longtime boyfriend, and they form an instant connection, forcing both to question their relationship.

Does it look good? Not really. I have no shame in admitting I’ve got a bit of a crush on Zoe Kazan; she’s charming and likeable in everything I’ve seen her in. That said, she seems to be headed down an unfortunate road full of bland romantic comedies, and this one in particular looks like a cut and paste carbon copy of every other romantic comedy in the history of the genre. I’m also not sold on Daniel Radcliffe as an actor outside of the Harry Potter series. He always just seems like he’s talking as himself, not really playing a character in any of the other films I’ve seen him in, and it doesn’t look any different here.



The Strain

A disease control team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism.

Does it look good? Yep. Horror on television seems like one of the last frontiers in our current golden age of television; most current horror shows veer into just weird (American Horror Story), more dramatic than scary (The Walking Dead), or just don’t even try to be scary at all (Sleepy Hollow, Supernatural, True Blood, etc.). This one, written by Guillermo Del Toro, looks to be actually headed into genuinely scary territory. There also seems to be a heavy dose of conspiracy here, which will give the show some over-arching story to run with, instead of just running from vampire monsters.

That’s it for this week. Let me know in the comments which of these you’re most excited about, and which ones you’ll be steering clear of.

Until next week!

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  1. RogueWatson

    Disagree about Sleepy Hollow not being at all scary, it really depends on the episode. The sandman one was quite creepy, and they did a whole haunted house episode as well.
    Hercules does look fun, at least the trailer is well done. Dwayne Johnson just exudes likable charisma; it’s hard not to pump one’s fist when he’s on screen.
    Liam Neeson can’t seem to escape the Taken script and I’m perfectly fine with it. From now on all his films should basically be summarized as, “It’s Taken in a Tex-Mex Restaurant!” “It’s Taken with a pair of monkeys in the South Pacific!” “It’s Taken inside Susan Sarandon’s Colon!”

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